ABN completes LaSalle sale, to book 7.3 bln euro gain

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AMSTERDAM, Oct 1 (Reuters) ABN AMRO said on Monday that it has completed the billion sale of U.S. subsidiary LaSalle to Bank of America, which will result in a fourth-quarter book gain of 7.3 billion euros (.4 billion).

The sale of LaSalle to Bank of America was at the centre of a legal dispute earlier this year as ABN faced offers from two rival bidders.

In July, the Dutch Supreme Court overturned an order by a lower court freezing the sale of LaSalle to Bank of America after shareholders demanded that they be allowed to vote on the deal, which which was seen as a poison pill against any bid rivalling a takeover offer for ABN by Britain's Barclays.

''The sale of LaSalle will result in a book gain of approximately 7.3 billion euros (.4 billion), which will be accounted for in ABN AMRO's fourth quarter results,'' the lender said in a statement.

Shares in ABN were up 0.6 percent at 37.16 euros, while the DJ Stoxx European banking index was down 0.4 percent.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Santander are offering to buy ABN for 71 billion euros, a deal seen as likely to prevail because it currently stands at more than 10 billion euros above the Barclays bid.

In a separate statement, Bank of America said customers of LaSalle and Bank of America will be able to make cash withdrawals at more than 18,500 automated teller machines without incurring additional charges.

LaSalle's commercial will also have access to services offered by Bank of America's global capital markets and investment banking businesses, Bank of America said.

Norman Bobins, the chairman of LaSalle, will become chairman emeritus of LaSalle, while Chief Executive Robert Moore will serve as the LaSalle transition executive until leaving at the end of 2007.

REUTERS DKS KP2036

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